Tell us about yourself and how many books you have written.
One novel, many plays.
What is the name of your latest book and what inspired it?
The Rosetta Man. A couple of spiky little aliens turn up in Wellington and all they want to do is climb the nearest tree. A man who is constantly followed by squirrels get stuck being translator for first contact. It was inspired by a mortgage down payment. I realized that there would be a year with less money for directing/producing plays (ie. more time) and new space to write. It was possibly also inspired by my trip to New Zealand for a nanotechnology conference and holiday.
Do you have any unusual writing habits?
I’m a scientist/writer/musician. I write wherever and whenever I can. This is not at all unusual in modern writing life. (Whenever includes all the hours on the clock face. Wherever includes ferry docks.)
What authors, or books have influenced you?
Roger Zelazny (Doorways in the Sand), Spider Robinson (Stardancer)
What are you working on now?
The Rosetta Mind. (The sequel to Book#1)
A grant proposal (seeking funds to train more people with the complete set of skills and knowledge needed to transform global energy systems).
A new tune, inspired by a particular smile, and the fresh air following rain fall.
What is your best method or website when it comes to promoting your books?
I have a website (https://clairemccague.weebly.com/)…but I don’t think it is my “best method”. My handwritten “The Saxophone Player Wrote a Book” sign was fairly effective at the dance hall.
Do you have any advice for new authors?
Avoid sleeping with uncapped pens (I assume everyone edits drafts in the soft light of bedside lamps, yes?)
What is the best advice you have ever heard?
You should have a nap.
What are you reading now?
“The Fire Starters” by Jan Carson. I bought it in Belfast during by travels after Worldcon. It’s set in Belfast and published by Doubleday Ireland. Insightful & challenging — the main characters and city are resonating at such a high stress frequency.
What’s next for you as a writer?
If you were going to be stranded on a desert island and allowed to take 3 or 4 books with you what books would you bring?
“Doorways in the Sand” by Roger Zelazny. “Stardancer” by Spider Robinson. “The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August” by Claire North. “The Future” poetry by Neil Hilborn, because it has lines like “…the scotch was like drinking a campfire next to a tire fire, and then it was two days later…” And then I’ll regret not bringing a play by Bond or Beckett or Stoppard.